A new trading card series entered the market Tuesday, but it doesn’t feature Alex Rodriguez in Yankee pinstripes.
It’s the fourth set in a card series created by the Department of Natural Resources highlighting Missouri’s natural wonders. But this year the cards are more specific — commemorating two local favorites, the Missouri River and the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Nona Lancaster, director of administration for the department’s Geological Survey and Resource Assessment Division, said the new set will tell a story by relating parts of writings of Lewis and Clark to features of the Missouri landscape. She added that the fronts of the 80-card set will be either a photograph or a painting depicting a geologic or water-related resource. The back side, Lancaster said, will offer narrative that “starts at St. Louis or below and explains certain geological features or landmarks along the way.”
“Some of the things that they (Lewis and Clark) wrote about you can go and see,” Lancaster said.
She pointed out that such features occasionally occur in state parks, emphasizing that this project was a collaborative effort between her division of DNR and the Missouri State Park System.
Whereas the previous three sets offered general topics of interest, such as Missouri’s caves, springs, fossils and minerals, this set focuses on the explorers and their highway — the Missouri River.
However, the hometown waterway running along Boone County’s southern border contributes as much to life today as it did to the West’s discovery 200 years ago.
“The river is critical to the economic future of our state and this nation,” Mimi Garstang, state geologist and GSRAD director, said in a press release.
“Today, the Missouri River is significant as a supplier of drinking water for a vast number of Missourians and a source of cooling water for power generators in our state,” Garstang said in the release.
She added that the river contributes to the transport of integral agricultural and industrial products and is a catalyst for tourism.
In a phone interview, Garstang said that above all she wants Missourians to understand the wide variety of uses the Missouri offers its citizens.
The most significant natural feature, Garstang said, is that “There is enough water to serve Missouri and the many uses of the river: fishing, traveling and water supply, for example.”
Lancaster said the original goal to inform has not changed, and that like the previous sets, a majority of those purchasing the cards will be students and teachers.
“They are mostly for educational purposes, and for people to learn why it (the Missouri River) is an important resource to our state,” Lancaster said.
The cards are on sale now, and all proceeds go toward the printing of future cards.